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article imageFCC rejects industry groups' attempt to stall public protections

By Brian Booker     May 9, 2015 in Politics
Broadband industry lobbyist groups are at it again. Five industry trade groups asked the FCC to immediately halt the reclassification of internet service providers. Unsurprisingly, the FCC tossed the request aside.
This past February, the FCC ruled in favor of the “open Internet” and disallowed internet service providers (ISP) from creating fast lanes and treating content providers differently.
The FCC's denial rose no eyebrows, and for the lobbying groups it was a mere formality to move the process along. Now that the FCC has denied the request, lobbying groups can ask courts to step in and halt the reclassification pending the final trial outcome.
The FCC's ruling will be challenged in court, and given the complexity of the case, and the amount of resources that will be spent on both sides, it could take years for any final ruling to come to fruition.
That's why the next step will be so important. If industry groups are able to get the courts to set aside the reclassification until the final ruling is made, it could provide broadband providers with several years before any potential reclassification occurs.
The FCC, for its part, is confident that it will win the upcoming court battles, both in the short-term and the long-term. The FCC argues that its reclassification of broadband falls well within its stipulated statutory authority, and claims that it is backed up by previous Supreme Court rulings, and is in line with the Administrative Procedure Act.
The White House backs so-called “net neutrality” and classifying the internet as a public utility. By classifying the internet as a public utility, broadband companies can't create “fast” and “slow” lanes.
Without net neutrality laws, internet service providers would be able to favor some companies, and disfavor others. ISP's would also be able to slow content that might compete with the ISP itself.
Strong net neutrality laws will prevent ISP's from interfering with the internet and picking winners and losers. This way, consumers will able to enjoy equal access to all legal content.
Without net neutrality ISP's could slow access to online services, such as Netflix, simply because the service competes with them. In other words, Verizon could slow Netflix streaming, and then launch a competing service and push customers towards that service.
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